Nonduality, Advaita Vedanta and your mind – 12/20/11


By Albert A. Haust III

 Copyright ©

There are some nondualists who say that we aren’t our mind. Some of them say that when your body dies your awareness merges back with source being and that’s all there is to it. What they say seems to suggest that the only reason we experience ourselves as individuals is because awareness interacts with physical bodies for a temporary amount of time.

People who have made contact with the spirit world through near-death experiences, out of body experiences, communicating with spirits or a combination of these three methods have found out differently. They have found that our existence as unique individuals continues after the death of our bodies. Our overall state of mind and the resulting energetic level determines where we end up after death on a like attracts like basis.

If we lived our lives in a positive way that included qualities such as humility, love and respect for others, we’ll end up in a realm with souls that have the same qualities. If we lived according to negative attributes such as anger, hate and arrogance, we’ll end up in a like-minded realm.

The spirits of some deceased people, because of their attachments, end up becoming Earthbound. If such a person was a drug addict, alcoholic, or sex addict he (or she) might end up making an energetic attachment to a person who is still alive and has such an addiction. This is one of the reasons people have a difficult time giving up their addictions. An attached spirit (or more than one spirit) can influence them to continue their addiction.

Some nondualists get involved with the self-defeating practice of asserting that their mind is something other than themselves. They claim that they are only pure awareness. Eventually, perhaps after they die, they will find that even though we can use one part of our mind to make it seem as if we aren’t our mind, we can never escape our mind. The reason we can’t is because our mind is as much a part of who we are as our awareness is. The existence of our mind isn’t dependent on the existence of our biological brain!

Even though we can use our mind so we don’t experience its manifestations as much as we usually do, we can never separate our mind aspect of being from our awareness aspect of being. We might as well try to remove wetness from water. Therefore, a person doesn’t do himself a favor when instead of taking care of his state of mind he denies that his mind has anything to do with who he is. Eventually, like it or not, he’ll have to deal with the parts of his mind he considers unfavorable.

Our mind aspect of being is very important. If we didn’t have such an aspect we wouldn’t have the means to learn what we need to learn and we couldn’t make decisions. We also wouldn’t have a way to guide our creative aspect of being.

Regarding the later, some people don’t realize how important the creative aspect of being is. It isn’t simply a matter of what one uses when they do something such as write a song, paint a painting or write a fiction novel. It is also a matter of what spirit beings use when they create things such as astral realms (nonphysical realms) and the physical universe.

Some nondualists might claim that they don’t deny mind altogether, just their little ego-based human minds. My feeling is that when they make such a distinction they don’t clearly and completely understand what they are doing. In some cases they do nothing more than refer to guru-based words they read in a book. Perhaps they came to a quick intellect-based decision without thinking about the matter with sufficient depth.

Whether we use our personal psychological conditioning and limited knowledge or tune into universal mind and receive a much more expansive and accurate way of understanding, we still use our mind. It is a matter of how wisely and freely we use it.

Universal mind isn’t beyond the attributes of being able to reason, learn and create. Universal mind needs to make comparisons between various things in order to come to a conclusion just as a person with a limited way of thinking needs to do so. For example, if a being who lives according to universal mind wants to determine if it is happy with its current state of being, it might want to make a comparison with how it feels now versus other moments. By making such a comparison it can determine if there is a state of being that might be better. If it decides that its current state of being is preferable over the other states of being it has experienced, its knowledge of the other states will help it appreciate the state it is currently experiencing. It will be able to think about its state of being in an intelligent way, rather than being ignorant of all of the relevant comparative factors.

Some people want to separate themselves from their minds because they find their minds to be troublesome. On the one hand there is the matter of how their thoughts appear on a moment-to-moment basis; on the other hand there is the matter of their underlying state of mind.

To a significant extent these two factors of mind aren’t separate from each other. If our underlying state of mind isn’t in good order, the manner in which our mind manifests on a thought-by-thought basis could be affected. The more we deal with our underlying issues, the more positive our current state of mind will become. This is partly because energetic blocks will clear and the more they do the more balanced and alive our nonphysical energy will become and the more we will be able to tune into and live according to spiritual peace and love. Because mind, body and spirit are connected, when we deal with our underlying issues and clear energetic blocks we are very likely to improve our physical health. I have done so.

To a large extent our thoughts manifest according to our will. If we will ourselves to be emotionally attached to a person who doesn’t want to be with us, our thoughts are likely to manifest accordingly. If there is something we are afraid of and believe it might manifest, our state of mind will be affected accordingly. If we deal with the underlying issue to an extent that it no longer troubles us, related troublesome thoughts will no longer manifest.

Troublesome underlying thought patterns aren’t always easy to deal with. Sometimes people don’t want to have to deal with such patterns. This is especially so if the underlying thoughts relate to a trauma-based issue. Perhaps fear might be a part of this issue.

Unfortunately, and fortunately, we eventually have to deal with our issues. I say unfortunately, because sometimes the process can be painful. I say fortunately, because the results of dealing with an issue are well worth while. Consider the process I went through as discussed in Chapter 7 of my book A Night in Heaven (here is the link for that chapter,  It was difficult to go through the process I went through but well worthwhile because it enabled energetic blockages within my heart and lower back to clear. The former made it so I am more capable of tuning into divine love. The later helped me get rid of lower back pain that had troubled me for years.

If I would’ve stuck to the mind-denying approach some nondual gurus advocate I would’ve never gotten around to becoming free of my fear of unfriendly spirits and other issues I needed to deal with.

Having the mind aspect of being for all of eternity doesn’t mean that we will be troubled by mind-based problems for all of eternity. Difficult attributes of mind are something we deal with as our soul learns its lessons. Eventually we obtain a state of being where we are very wise, very fulfilled, and live according to positive qualities such as divine love.

When we reach such a state our mind isn’t viewed as an evil enemy. It is viewed as a wonderful and miraculous aspect of self that has enabled us to become an incredibly wise and loving soul. Life’s experiences can lead to wisdom when we allow them to.

When I make contact with the friendly spirit beings I know, it is very clear to me that they aren’t beings who lack the mind aspect of being. If I ask them a question, it takes them just an instant to come up with a detailed visual image that symbolically answers my question. On many occasions they respond to my question by instantly having me take part in a short waking dream that has just the right details to symbolically answer my question.

They are able to use their minds in such a capable way because rather than trying to assert to themselves that their minds don’t have anything to do with who they are, they took responsibility for their minds. They most definitely have their mind aspect of being, yet when I’m in contact with them they radiate qualities such as love, deep peace and vastness. The fact of how they can do so shows that the mind aspect of being doesn’t interfere with spiritual depth.

It’s odd when a person tries to tell himself that he isn’t his mind because the only way he could do so is by using a part of his mind. Pure awareness couldn’t do this because it is simply aware. In order for a person (or any other being) to come to a conclusion, some movement needs to take place within its being. This movement is the movement of mind.

A person might recognize that not only does he exist in a mind-based way, he also exists in a formless and spacious way. Perhaps he had experiences where his mind was troublesome. Perhaps he read in a guru-based book that it is preferable to be separate from his mind. The above two factors may have caused him to develop the belief that it is preferential to be something other than his mind. As a result he became very interested in the part of his being that is formless and spacious. He became interested in this aspect of himself to such an extent that he desired to deny the mind aspect of himself.

The fact of how his desire to be free of his mind came from no other place than his mind shows that actual transcendence of his mind can’t be obtained because how could transcendence of mind be obtained if mind is used to obtain it? Wouldn’t that be like trying to put out fire by using fire?

What some people do instead is develop a dissociative disorder. They use one part of their mind to deny the rest of their mind. Some of them eventually realize how difficult it is to maintain such supposed transcendence.

Fortunately, such separation of mind isn’t needed in order for us to find the spiritual perfection we seek.  Rather, we need to learn to use our mind in a wise and loving way. It can take time for a soul to fully learn how to do that, so it is best that a person doesn’t waste too much time trying to pretend that his mind doesn’t have anything to do with who he is. Finding that such an approach is a mistake is one of the lessons that many souls have to learn. So if you’ve made such a mistake please don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, turn to the next page of your life and find out what is the next step for your soul’s progression.